At 11:00~12:00 (UTC+8) on December 20th 2018, the Public Chain Technology Alliance (PCTA) hosted its 4th live ask-me-anything (AMA) session at the r/CryptoCurrency channel on Reddit. More details please visit our Reddit AMA page.
Guests of this Reddit AMA are PCTA partners, including NEM, NULS, PCHAIN, ColdLar Wallet, BEPAL. Senior members from 5 separate and unique projects have been invited, joined in and answered questions from the entire blockchain community. They are NEM China Regional Head & NEM council Member Steve Li, NULS Community Manager Essam Elmir, PCHAIN founder Jeff, founder & CEO of ColdLar Wallet Dawei Yuan, BEPAL CEO Hugo.
Some key themes and takeaways from the AMA include:
1. Hello, guests from NEM, NULS, PCHAIN, ColdLar Wallet, BEPAL, what’s the biggest challenge your projects going through in 2018? What happened at that time? Could you guys share some stories to us?
Essam (NULS Community Manager): The biggest challenge for us was building a bridge between China & the west. Setting up communication lines and understanding each other’s cultures was a big part of it. I think this is where a lot of amazing tech companies struggle in China and don’t get the recognition, they deserve due to the barriers between both cultures, I’m glad to be part of building the western arm for the team. A little story about this was when me and my brother first decided to join the team, he flew overseas to meet the team and the language barrier was very difficult but even still he became good friends with all the team and we have been working with them ever since.
Simon (GoWithMi CTO): The biggest challenge we encountered was if we wanted to do a blockchain map, how to solve the issue of allowing the storage of all data based on blockchain storage and compute. After I was in Silicon Valley and working with the Silicon Valley team to keep discussing and trying to solve this problem. One day, we went to Sunnyvale to participate in an event. When we passed through a building that played a classic role in the early days of the Internet, we suddenly thought of a solution. We achieved storing all data and calculations on the blockchain, so we are now created the world's first map public chain -- Gaia.
Steve Li (NEM): NEM survived the biggest losses in crypto history at a hacking incident to a well-known exchange. Almost 400 million USD worth XEM was stolen. It was really a big challenge to get the community calm down and still stay with NEM in its darkest hours. There weas some misunderstanding that NEM chain is not secure, but the truth is that NEM blcokchain is never hacked since its beginning in 2015, it’s the way to keep your private key untouched that matters most. The incident happens because of Trojan Virus stole the private key and that exchange didn’t even use cold wallet. A lesson was learned from that incident, and we will continue working on educating the community how to better keep their coin safe.
One great way to better manage your account in NEM is to withdraw XEM to your own wallet from exchange and then turn it into a multi-sig account with NEM’s build-in feature.
Dawei Yuan (CEO of ColdLar): The biggest challenge is that we have no experience to learn from，and must make self-adjustment always. But we believe that “The times produce their heroes”. So during the tough times ColdLar is struggling to find its own way and find the balance between “Security” “Usability” and “Extendibility”, and try to collect the demands and continuously improve the products accordingly. During the Consensus Invest conference this November, we met a customer and he gave us warm words and confirmation. At that moment, we are so impressed and it reminded us of the sentence “As long as there is a pair of faithful eyes to cry with me, it is worth my suffering for life”.
2. What is your strategy or plan for 2019 in technology and in community? Since the market started getting freeze, are you guys thinking change the direction of your project?
Essam (NULS Community Manager): For NULS we have not gone the typical route of many projects, we have been spending a lot of time focusing on building our community both with Ambassadors and a Community Developer team, as a community manager I strongly believe the community of the project plays a big role in the direction of the project so for us we will definitely be putting a lot more resources in the community but overall I like the direction we are taking so far, for our tech team they will continue working on pushing out NULS 2.0 to provide solutions for enterprises to adopt blockchain.
Dawei Yuan (CEO of ColdLar): Hi, glad to answer your question. ColdLar provide the entire blockchain industry with a series of Security Solution that keeps pace with the times. So even the market started getting freeze, ColdLar will always focus on one thing and keep doing it. Generally speaking, we will focus more on our customers' demands, and perfect the wallets.
Jeff Cao (PCHAIN CEO): For technology part of PCHAIN, we will be continuing following our existing development plan which defined in our whitepaper, continue to develop smart data, cross chain and capability of PCHAIN.
For Business part: in one hand, as we said before we will have more collaboration with our cross-chain partners. On the other hand, we will active to explore business opportunities such as to create some child-chains for some specific business applications. We have already explored 3 directions, and hopefully all the 3 directions will be moving forward and getting closed the deal in 2019. We are very happy to see this kind of business progress in PCHAIN.
Regarding the freezing market, in fact, we believe it is very good opportunity for good project to attract the further attention from the market. Due to the frozen market, the relative weak project might be stopped or they may run out of funding. They can hardly move forward and people will probably not find scam project in the market.
As the same time, as the great project with clear goal, PCHAIN will focus more the technology development and concentrate on the target communities for delivering clearer and result-oriented message and no need to dealing with scam projects’ ads. Meanwhile, we do believe we will win loyalist and more qualified community members during this bear market.
Steve Li (NEM): As everyone must know, we are in a crypto winter now. In this winter, NEM has promised to use its major resources and energy in developing a better version of NEM core tech known as “Catapult”. It will be a bright new version of NEM, and we call it NEM 2.0. Expenses on marketing and conference will be cut to the lowest level until we consider it’s a good time. Now, our strategy is to focus on the core technology and developer community building.
Hugo (BEPAL CEO): BEPAL used to be a Hardware wallet company. But now, BEPAL focuses on the blockchain assets security. BEPAL has deeply plowed in the field of blockchain and tries to build a world top digital asset management system. BEPAL has successfully launched BEPAL Pro，BEPAL Q and BEPAL TOUCH and high-end digital asset custody platform BEPAL PLUS. BEPAL PRO S has won The Best Hardware Wallet in China; The Most Popular Blockchain Securely Hardware Wallet etc. High-end digital asset custody platform BEPAL PLUS has helped users to manage their assets safely，and the amount reached 100 million within a week. It might exceed 1 billion in 2019.
Simon (GoWithMi CTO): Our strategy is still two points: 1. Use blockchain to solve the problem of poor map quality in emerging markets. 2. Let the blockchain connects the real world, make blockchain enables the real economy. So we attempt to use blockchain technology, incentive mechanism, and cooperative games to address the embarrassing situation of Internet infrastructure in Asia, Africa, Latin America and other later-development countries due to the centralized human organization. The ultimate goal is to connect the blockchain with the real world with a decentralized location-based service. Providing one-stop decentralized location-based service support for the food, clothing, and business services, cross-chain supporting all blockchain platforms, driving the solid business to leap into a new era of programmable business. At present, the technical difficulties have been broken one by one, and the map service is achieving storing full data on the chain, storing full service on the chain, all equipment have equal rights mining, and the c-terminal map app has been launched in Indonesia. Of course not:), we will continue to uphold and fulfill our mission.
3. The price side is out of the question. Ecosystems will somehow be created. But it's important to get a quick start. Most projects think of a public chain model when they start a block-chain project. What do you think about that? And I think it is urgent to attract developers / users / attract businesses. The public chain is currently 80% empty. It is useless and there is no profit model either.
Also it is important that the top10 coins keep up well in the downstroke. Altcoins are always on the go. Most of them have been rebounding since they have been rising for a while. I hope that the situation will change from next year.
Wait for you reply.
Essam (NULS Community Manager): I think the most important thing to a public chain is there community, if you have an ecosystem and have tools and DAPPs that people can use but no users what good is that chain. You need to build your userbase first and then think about what products your userbase will use. Public-chains make the most sense since it is easier to grow a community from scratch rather than finding clients for a private-chain unless you have an established business already. I definitely think we will see a lot this year when projects start implementing the technology in the real world.
Jeff Cao (PCHAIN CEO): Yes, definitely. In fact, we have been in this crypto world for over 4 years and getting through these bear market and bull market several times. We have achieved a lot No.1s in China and even globally. And we believe we will continually create more advanced technologies in the future.
This year we have got some special very good technical innovation and breakthrough, and we have created very strong tech foundation. We hope we can receive good business results very soon in 2019.
4. Are there any impressive things for you in the blockchain industry this year?
Dawei Yuan (CEO of ColdLar): Hi, glad to answer your question.
The most impressive is that we just celebrate the Second Anniversary of ColdLar. How Time Flies! We gathered a large number of industry elites with same destination and initial intention. We had tough times as well as happy memories, and we are working hard.
Essam (NULS Community Manager): I'm definitely impressed by how hard the industry is working to gain adoption and work together to solve a common goal, I am also impressed with how supportive most people are especially in the "Crypto Winter"
Simon (GoWithMi CTO): Yes, no one has ever seen such skyrocketing fluctuations. I saw how people overestimate the blockchain, and I also saw how people underestimate the blockchain. I think it's just the beginning, let time prove it.
5. Does the blockchain industry have a deep memory for you this year? And what do you think of the real value of the blockchain is?
Essam (NULS Community Manager): The most memorable memory from 2018 for me is when NULS main-net was live, it was such an amazing achievement and in less than 6 months the team worked together to get it online. Our developers worked day and night in the closing weeks to get it online which is why it’s so amazing to be a part of such a hard-working team.
Hugo (BEPAL CEO): We can imagine what would happen if we put all the data that is needed for the current social and economic development into such a valuable network to complete the digital process. Various elements for social and economic development can be freely circulated and used through the Internet with digitization. Isn't this the model of digital economic we expect?
If you want to apply a residence permit to work in Beijing, you still need to find special institutions and with a lot of paper works etc. But with Blockchain technology, it’s so much easier. You just load your information to Blockchain, and it can be verified on Blockchain very soon, and no one can tamper it.
The efficiency of such a comprehensive digital economy will be hundreds or thousands of times higher than the current Internet economy, which can greatly improve the production efficiency of the whole society.
In short, I think BLOCKCHAIN means Data trust, asset trust, things trust, people trust.
6. Shall you give several description words for the public chains development in 2018?
Dawei Yuan (CEO of ColdLar): Hi, glad to answer your question. For my part, I may say "Security", " Fork " and " STO" for the public chains development in 2018.
Essam (NULS Community Manager): Ambitious, Creative & Disruptive.
Jeff Cao (PCHAIN CEO): The first word I would like to emphasize ‘outbreak’ as a lot of public chains have been launched this year. But I think it is also a good collaboration as you can see our PCTA, the public chain technology alliance, which will definitely attract more and more public chains to join and hopefully we will get better collaboration within the alliance. For PCHAIN we have achieved 3 technical breakthroughs, the first is PDBFT algorithm, which can greatly reduce the communication cost from N2 to N. The second is we innovate the dynamic bidding process. The third and the most important one is that we are the first multi-chain in the world which supports EVM, and we achieved very promising result- in terms of theoretical 180K TPS with 256 Child-chains. As far as we know it is the most large-scale child-chain in native multiple chain system in the world so far.
Simon (GoWithMi CTO): I will choose the word "dawn" because although it is freezing now, the sun will come out and the new day will begin.
7. In your opinion, what is the real value of blockchain?
Simon (GoWithMi CTO): I think the blockchain's technical value is to reduce market friction. The value in human organizations is to deflate the limitations of the old centralized human organization, providing a possibility of forming a new decentralized human self-organization. The value of commerce is to upgrade the Nash equilibrium that has been solidified among the old business to a new and better Nash equilibrium through innovation in technology and organization.
For example, the Indonesian project we are launching, Google’s old business model has not improved well in the local regions, and the API cost has increased 14 times without any improvement in the quality of any service. We have only launched in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia for several months, and some of the map service providers have provided 2 to 3 times better service than Google Maps through a consensus-driven approach.
Jeff Cao (PCHAIN CEO): In my opinion, the real value is that it is proved, we can use the decentralized way to transfer the assets/value via Internet. Generally speaking, traditionally Internet and IT technology is the fastest way to spreading all the information all around the world, however, we can hardly use Internet or such IT technology to transfer the value or asset in the decentralized way.
Blockchain technology helps this transferring to become true and make this kind of things happen.
So you can say that Internet replaced the traditional paper as information can be transferred by normal traditional paper. And nowadays the blockchain technology replace the paper with great value, with the capability to be original and hardly to make a fake one. That’s replacement of blockchain why it is so important, why it makes the value and asset more non-fungible, more transferable around the world.
We believe it will greatly improve the efficiency and productivity all of the whole world and make the whole world become into a global village.
8. Is the prosperity of the first half of this year a false prosperity? What is more needed in blockchain industry? Hope to get an answer!
Essam (NULS Community Manager): I don’t think it was false prosperity I would call it a lack of knowledge, a lot of people came in to blockchain for financial gain but they didn’t understand the underlying technology, so they don’t really have knowledge to put a value on something they invested in. I definitely think education and adoption are still the most needed right now, it’s estimated that 1-2% of the world population know what blockchain is, this number should definitely be a lot higher and educating people on the underlying technology is very important for all blockchains to be successful.
Jeff Cao (PCHAIN CEO): In fact it is very important in the past one year as this bull market has attracted a lot of persons to pay attention on blockchain and blockchain technology. It attracts more and more good developers and good engineer to come into this industry, which we can hardly do without the bull market.
Our team began to promote blockchain and spread this technology globally 3 years ago, but at that time, few people even heard of it. With the bull market in the first half of 2018, more and more people realized the importance of this technology, this direction and this industry. Without it we can hardly attract so much. Due to the bull run people understand that blockchain is very promising and blockchain may have the ability to change the world. So we need to thank this bull market.
For blockchain industry, I think there will be two aspects, the first one is definitely we need at least one killer application. We need a killer application to attract more people to understand better and precisely how blockchain works. This is aspect from application lever.
Another one is fundamental technology level, we need more scalable blockchain systems to support the birth of attractive applications and ensure the running of application as well. It is quite similar to the previous Internet development.
Because at very beginning people understand that Internet would change the world, just the fundamental technology of Internet was not that ready. So even though people can image a lot potential application in Internet, people can hardly realize their ideas or applications at that time as the fundamental technology was not ready.
On the other hand, current applications in Internet are somewhat different from the traditional or original ideas which were defined 10 years or 15 years ago because of new technology and fundamental technology breakthrough. At the same time the new technology makes the current Internet applications to work very successful. Everyone has smartphone now and there are a lot advanced and improved applications on Internet.
The logic between applications and fundamental tech in Internet is same with blockchain.
Dawei Yuan (CEO of ColdLar): Hi, glad to answer your question. I may say “overly optimistic”，instead of “false prosperity”.
During the first half of this year, the believers were too ambitious to achieve the ideals and goals in a short period. Meanwhile, some people were too ambitious to gain quick money in a short period. However, in Blockchain we trust.
I think we need more education on underlying technology and risk control.
Then we can calm down and reach consensus in a proper way.
Simon (GoWithMi CTO): The first half of this year was a market enthusiasm after the social enlightenment. The blockchain is now in the most needed to launch using the fact that everyone can see it to prove the value of blockchain.
Aero Wang (Nebulas co-founder): Hi, I am glad to join this discussion, and want to talk something about DApps in public chains. To put it more vividly, the foundation of blockchain is like an operating system. And a system that nobody uses is not qualified. BTC's success lies in many people using it as an e-cash payment system. And Ethereum is a system that issues tokens. In 2017, many ERC20 tokens were issued on Ethereum. Currently, there are more than 100,000 ERC20 tokens on Ethereum. Ethereum was successful as such a system, and ICO might have been a killer App on it. Whether the current public chain development can reach another peak, it is not dependent on the creation of popular DApps, but how many people are using public chain again. Many believe that as long as there is a killer DApp, public chain would be used by many people again. However, this is wrong. As we can see, CryptoKitties was very popular before, but it wasn’t powerful enough to bring explosive growth to public chain, and instead it help ERC721 protocol gain its visibility. I have firsthand experience from the aspect of DApp. Because I witnessed 6800 DApps deployed on Nebulas mainnet during the Nebulas Incentive Program Season 1. And these DApps fall into different categories, including tool DApps, social DApps, game DApps, etc. But now, the gambling DApps are most popular. At that time, Nebulas actually simulated a market with a relatively balanced supply and demand for developers and users by way of providing incentives. Just like the current mobile App market, it has a wide user base, which everyone has different needs, so diverse apps will be created according to these needs. So we can come to a conclusion that, it’s not a matter of public chain or DApps, but essentially a problem of blockchain users. That's why we initiated the Bitsclub Vision Program and Public Chain Technology Alliance, inviting people from different public chain projects, capital, media and other roles to participate, with the aim of bringing 100 million high quality users to the blockchain world.
9. What is your expectation of public chain in 2019?
Essam (NULS Community Manager): I feel really positive going into 2019, a lot of people became uninterested in 2018 since the price drop but the ones who are still around are really sticking together and working with one another to grow the space! So many development milestones are looking to be complete in the space in Q1-Q2 alone that will drive another wave of mass adoption due to consumers actually being able to use the blockchain in everyday life.